Live from Baltimore, the 2014 Harvey’s are unspooling. Will our computer battery hold out? Will our attention span survive? I’m not sure, but we’ll give it a try.
This year’s mc is Michael Uslan who claims that everything he learned about dating came form Archie Comics, leading to disappointment when his hometown had no malt shop. Uslan mentions Stan Lee and Marvel comics and being at the growing world of fandom and writing for fanzines 50s years ago. Uslan recalls as a teen seeing Otto Binder at a sketchy bar following a local NYC con. Binder offered to introduce them to the creator of Batman and then said “Boys, this is Bill Finger.”
“Thank god, thank god, we’re cool at least,” Uslan says after tracing the history of the growing rise of comics. “Today we are geek bearing gifts and our gift to the world is comics.”
Gail Simone is the keynote speaker! She says she had a speech prepared but decided not to give it. “Because of recent events in the comics and gaming industries I want to talk about women in comics.” Simone recalls her upbringing on a remote farm where her first pet was, no joke, a cow. “Eight years old and I made myself a purist fast. But I was 8 and hadn’t learned yet about not bending back the covers.” She could tell the difference between good and bad but knew instinctively that some people would never know the difference.
Simone recalls the somics she had with Joe Kubert’s Tarzan, and Sergio’s Mad. But by the time she graduated to the spinner rack, it seems comics had given up on girls. The women were in bikinis or a hostage. A cousin told her that comics weren’t for girls. There were no romance or teen books. Like most children she didn’t know about comics beyond the 7-11, She went to a comics shop and discovered Elfquest and Cerebus and other comics, best of all, Love and Rockets some starring women and even created by women.
Simone recalls 15 years ago when she created “Women in Refrigerators” calling out pretty much the entire industry. “Imagine that your website gets natioanl attention and makes the whole industry look like sexist jerks….Imagine how popular you would be. Your inbox would look like ebola hit krakatoa. I got hate mail and I still do.”
“I asked one of the publishers of comics what percentage of readers was female and he said ‘I don’t know and I don’t care.'”
Simone compares that to now with Saga, Lumberjanes, male dragalongs and gender parity. Things have improved, but women still get attacked for criticism. But more men jump in to defend them. She spoke with the Valkyries, the female comics shops org who told her an anecdote about a little girl who insisted on buying a Wonder Woman comics. “She walked out beaming with her “Sensation Comics. ” I want to thank you not just for making better comics but for making comics better.”
And now the awards!
Terry Moore, RACHEL RISING, Abstract Studio
BEST SYNDICATED STRIP or PANEL
DICK TRACY, Joe Staton and Mike Curtis, Tribune Media Services
BEST ONLINE COMICS WORK
BATTLEPUG, Mike Norton, battlepug.com
BEST AMERICAN EDITION of FOREIGN MATERIAL
ATTACK ON TITAN, Kodansha
Wade Von Grawbadger, ALL NEW X-MEN, Marvel Comics
Legendary Cerebus artist Gerhard presented this and Marvel’s Tom Brevoort picked it up — a duo I never expected to see together!
And now a break in the action as Denis Kitchen is up to present the very first Harvey Kurtzman Hall of Fame Award to Charles Schulz. Schulz Museum director Karen Johnson is on hand to accept. “You are his people,” she says of the room. Johnson relays Jeannie Schulz’ thoughts on what to say in accepting the award who suggested a quote from the man. “Sparky said I want to be remembered as EB White remembered James Thurber: “He wrote like a child who could skip a rope.”
BEST NEW SERIES
SEX CRIMINALS, Image
MOST PROMISING NEW TALENT
Chip Zdarsky, SEX CRIMINALS, Image Comics
SPECIAL AWARD FOR HUMOR IN COMICS
Ryan North, ADVENTURE TIME, KaBOOM!
BEST ORIGINAL GRAPHIC PUBLICATION FOR YOUNGER READERS
ADVENTURE TIME, KaBOOM!
BEST GRAPHIC ALBUM PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED
MOUSE GUARD VOL. 3: THE BLACK AXE, BOOM! Studios/Archaia
Tom Brevoort presents posthumous Dick Giordano Humanitarian Award to Stan Goldberg. Dan Parent gets up and recalls how humane and kind Goldberg always was o him. A very warm remembrance. “His kindness really touched me and a lot of us young artists moving up at the time.”
DARK HORSE PRESENTS, Dark Horse Comics
BEST DOMESTIC REPRINT PROJECT
BEST OF COMIX BOOK: WHEN MARVEL COMICS WENT UNDERGROUND, Kitchen Sink Books/Dark Horse
BEST COVER ARTIST
Fiona Staples, SAGA, Image Comics
BEST BIOGRAPHICAL, HISTORICAL, or JOURNALISTIC PRESENTATION
THE FIFTH BEATLE: THE BRIAN EPSTEIN STORY, by Vivek J. Tiwary, Andrew C. Robinson, and Kyle Baker, Dark Horse
SPECIAL AWARD for EXCELLENCE IN PRESENTATION
BEST OF COMIX BOOK: WHEN MARVEL COMICS WENT UNDERGROUND, John Lind, Kitchen Sink Books/Dark Horse Comics
BEST GRAPHIC ALBUM ORIGINAL
THE FIFTH BEATLE: THE BRIAN EPSTEIN STORY, Dark Horse Comics
BEST CONTINUING OR LIMITED SERIES
SAGA, Image Comics
Herb Trimpe receives the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Hero Initiative and gets the evenings first standing ovation. What a fantastic guy, still so vital and involved in comics. Well deserved.
Brian K. Vaughan, SAGA, Image Comics
Fiona Staples, SAGA, Image Comics
Paul Pope, BATTLING BOY, First Second
BEST SINGLE ISSUE OR STORY
“Pizza is My Business’, HAWKEYE #11, Marvel Comics
And we’re out! good times and congrats to all the winners wide eyed newcomer snapper Chip Zdarsky.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.